• Women Owned Businesses Disproportionally Hurt by Pandemic

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    August 28, 2020

    Pandemic is Affecting Women-Owned Businesses Disproportionately

    Female-owned small businesses are disproportionately feeling the effects of the pandemic and economic crisis, according to data released today by the U.S. Chamber.

    Key takeaway: Before the pandemic began, 67% of male-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “somewhat or very good,” compared to 60% of female-owned businesses. In July 2020, that number fell 13 points to 47% for female-owned businesses, while the number of male business owners reporting “somewhat or very good” health only fell 5 percentage points to 62%.

    By the numbers: Female small business owners are less likely to expect future revenue, investment, and staffing growth.

    • In January, 63% of female-owned businesses predicted their revenues would increase in the coming year, comparable to male-owned businesses (59%). In July, that number had fallen 14 percentage points for female owners to 49%, while male owners remained relatively unchanged (57%). 
    • In January, 32% of female-owned small businesses said they planned to increase investments in their business in the coming year, similar to male-owned businesses at 28%. In July, that number remained unchanged for female owners but male owners saw an increase of 11 percentage points, rising to 39%. 
    • In January, 31% of female-owned businesses said they expected to increase the size of their staff in the coming year, nearly the same as male-owned businesses (30%). In July, there was a 12-point difference between female owners (24%) and male owners (36%). 

    Why it matters: This data indicates female small business owners don’t anticipate recovering as quickly as male business owners.

    One small business owner’s story: “My 40-year old catering company has made it through ups and downs in business before, but I don’t see us surviving COVID-19 without additional help from our elected representatives in Washington,” said Maxine Turner, founder of Cuisine Unlimited based in Salt Lake City, Utah. “We desperately need another boost from the Paycheck Protection Program. Time is of the essence as so many of us have exhausted our funds and have no additional resources to keep our companies afloat until this pandemic is under control.” 

    Our take: “We cannot allow this pandemic to set back a generation of entrepreneurial women. Congress’ inability to provide relief to America’s small business owners is unconscionable and inexcusable,” said Suzanne Clark, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We need to help struggling small businesses safely reopen and stay open so they can continue to grow and create jobs in their local communities.  The health and existence of small businesses is essential to the economic recovery of our nation.”